Byron's Babbles

Leadership Lessons From My Mom

I had the opportunity to walk along the beach tonight in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Having lost my mother to a stroke this past week I could not help but reflect on her teachings as the warm sand squished between my toes. I guess this post is really a tribute to my mom. My mom’s servant leadership modeling had a profound impact on my development and who I am today. She always taught me that our gifts are not about us. Leadership is not about us. Our purpose is not all about us. Living a life of significance is about serving those who need our gifts, our leadership, and our compassion. She taught me it is much more important to be significant, not successful.

As a third generation educator I saw first hand the significance a teacher and school leader can have in the lives of all students and the teachers the administrator leads. Mom taught me that success is only about building yourself (make no mistake that is important). Significance, however, is about empowering others toward greatness. It is about leaving the world better than when we started. Significance is about the influence we have on those we come in contact with.

Mom used to always tell me that when one door closes, God always opens another. And…you know what this has always proven to be right. It’s amazing how smart moms are! Most credit Alexander Graham Bell for saying “when one door closes, another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” My mom, however, taught me that God was in charge of the door opening and closing. She also taught me, thank goodness, to look for the open doors.

Mom always taught me that the closed door was closed and to not give in to the temptation to look back. We can’t go back, so check out and be curious about the open doors. As leaders we need to walk forward to the next door that we can open, or that God has opened for us. Great leaders keep their eyes toward the future instead of looking at the present or the past. Effective leaders are open to new ideas, open to challenges that will present themselves, open to the input of others, and open to the possibilities they don’t even see just yet, or maybe only see in their dreams.

So as I watched the ebb and flow of the waves in the Atlantic Ocean and enjoyed the warm sand today I was reminded to keep a keen eye out for the doors opening to significance. Are you looking for open doors?


2 Responses

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  1. Melody Warner said, on March 20, 2018 at 10:31 am

    A beautiful tribute to your mother!


  2. Linked Lives | Byron's Babbles said, on July 4, 2022 at 9:19 am

    […] in much of what happens years later” (p. 139). At my mom’s passing I blogged about our link in Leadership Lessons From My Mom and I am reflecting on my dad this morning and all he did to prepare me for all the moments I have […]


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